The greatly-anticipated International Autojumble returned to Beaulieu on 4th and 5th September for a busy weekend of non-stop buying and selling, attracting over 25,000 showgoers who turned out in force despite the impact of Brexit and Covid restrictions on international visitors.
Following the show’s postponement in 2020, its return was welcomed by traders and bargain hunters alike, who were delighted to be back on the Beaulieu event fields to trade elusive spares for their automotive projects, as well as essential tools, books, automobilia and retro lifestyle items such as clothing, picnic sets, classic toy cars and more. With stands spread across two busy fields, this cornerstone of the events season really was a must-see.
A show tradition, the Best Stand Award is presented at every International Autojumble to the stallholders whose pitch truly captures the spirit of the show. Winning the coveted prize were Mark, Andy, Sarah and Jamie Burnett of Burlen Fuel Systems, whose vibrant stand promoting the newly-formed J40 Motor Company caught the eye of judge Danny Hopkins, editor of event media sponsor Practical Classics magazine.
Although show regulars Burlen have exhibited at Beaulieu since the 1970s, this was the first show that the family-run firm had attended since recently launching their new venture, devoted to remanufacturing high quality spare parts for the iconic Austin J40 pedal car. From wheels, tyres and braking components, to bumpers, lights, steering wheels and seats, the J40 Motor Company has plans to offer even more spares over the coming months for these pint-sized classics, which were originally built from 1949 to 1971 by Austin.
“Winning the award really does mean quite a lot to us,” said Managing Director Mark Burnett. “Although we know the classic market and the people in it, when we took on the business which had been started by Roy Halford almost 40 years ago, we didn’t know if people would be unsure about the J40 Motor Company. But the welcome we have received has been unbelievable. People really love it!”
The Burnetts were presented with their award by Lord Montagu and Lolly Lee, who donates a trophy every year in memory of her late father and autojumbler Terry Lee.
The Bonhams MPH sale across the weekend had many buyers reaching for their chequebooks, as a staggering selection of historic vehicles and automobilia went under the hammer. Turning many heads were a 1959 Bristol 402 Drophead Coupe, originally owned by actress Jean Simmons, which sold for £159,750 including premium, and an elegant 1948 Delahaye 135M which sold for £153,125 including premium.
Much smaller but equally eye-catching was a 1933 American Austin ‘woodie’ station wagon, a rare transatlantic version of the Austin Seven, which fetched £16,312. Those who preferred to build their ideal Austin Seven had four chassis and accompanying kits of parts to choose from, which fetched between £637 and £2,040 each.
While a 1928 Bentley 4½-litre tourer went for £157,500, £42,187 would have bought a recently restored 1978 Ford Escort Mexico. Just £843 secured a fascinating Bond Equipe prototype, built after Reliant took over the company and was considering creating a junior Scimitar; never fitted with an engine or road-registered, this unique machine was in need of restoration.
The line-up of cars for sale in Automart was equally impressive. An Austin Mini Countryman which had covered just 16,000 miles from new and had spent 43 years stored in a barn, sold quickly on the Saturday, as did a 1964 Ford Anglia 123E Super. As different as chalk and cheese was a rare 1959 Ginetta G2, a minimalist sports car built using Ford Prefect running gear, and a huge 1975 Dodge Power Wagon 4X4 firefighting vehicle, which had recently been imported from Scandinavia.
£8,500 would have bought a Jaguar XJ-S V12 with 67,500 miles on the clock, while an Austin A30 with just 10,000 miles under its belt was priced at £9,250. A range of high-quality classics was also up for grabs in Dealermart.
Brand new for 2021 was Forgotten Favourites, a display celebrating ordinary everyday cars of the past which are now rarely seen on the roads. From a 1980s Volvo 480ES, Citroen CX and Opel Astra, to a 1970s Austin Maxi, Citroen Dyane and Australian-built Leyland P76, to a 1960s Triumph 1300 and a low-mileage Austin 1100, there was plenty to appeal to the nostalgic side of showgoers.
Joining Forgotten Favourites was a line-up of concours cars from Hagerty’s Festival of the Unexceptional. “I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those!” was often heard as showgoers took a closer look at the Nissan Bluebird, Renault 10, Volvo 340, Daewoo Espero and Nissan Micra on show. While a display from the Morgan Sports Car Club showcased a number of these popular British sports cars.
International Autojumble media sponsors Practical Classics were at the show, sharing advice and motoring stories with enthusiasts, before setting off on a mammoth round-Britain trip in their newly restored VW camper.
Beaulieu’s Spring Autojumble will be returning on 14th and 15th May 2022, with the dates for next year’s International Autojumble to be announced later this autumn.